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Vodafone will rent you an iPhone 5 for 69p* a day

*On top of the cost of the Sim, natch

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Vodafone has tweaked its Sim-only tariffs and introduced a fresh handset rental scheme which lets customers swap their old phone for a newer model when their 12-month contract is up.

Users who fork out £47 a month for Vodafone's "Red Hot" deal will get the choice of either an Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III or Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to accompany their 2GB of internet data, and unlimited calls and texts.

That deal - minus the cost of the handset, bundled into the monthly payment - costs £26 a month on Vodafone's now tweaked Sim-only tariffs, which essentially puts the hardware rental at just 69p a day.

When the 12-month contract comes to an end, customers have a few options: either cancel the deal and return the rented handset, swap to a new device and sign up for another year, or continue with the current blower for up to six months on a rolling contract while awaiting the release of a snazzier device.

All mobiles come with an insurance plan, screen protector and personalised case. Gosh.

Of course, the tech will forever be owned by your network provider, preventing the typical eBay recoup when switching to newer handsets, but at least customers will avoid being tied into longer, two-year contracts to pocket the latest smartphone without an upfront cost.

Then again, it's worth bearing in mind that O2 currently offers a similar service - O2 Lease - which now dishes out iPhone 5s with an identical 2GB of monthly data, unlimited calls and texts, for just £40 a month.

For Apple-hunting punters at least, that could be seen as an £84 saving, annually. ®

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